Red Baron plane performance and tactics




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Actually this is only part of our pages on RB2 tactics, we have a lot more in store for our members and not all of it is as dry as the first part of this : )

Red Baron has many types of planes, all of which have special characteristics of which you can take advantage by using your own planes strong points and the adversaries planes weak points. This is much easier said then done of course especially when thereís so many types of plane around: 22 in total.
The germans have 9 types available and the allieds even 13 types. As we say in Holland: I canít see the forrest because thereís so many trees.

So here are the results of the tests I ran on the various planes. Tested were turnspeed to the right and left, level climb speed, level speed, stall speed, roll speed, turning climb speed and speed at which a plane can be looped. Not all results are mentioned here however as it would cloud the things that really matter.

The biggest problem I encountered was the different system the allieds and germans used to measure speed: miles per hour versus kilometres per hour. Also climb speed was measured differently: feet per second versus metres per second.
This was a problem because it complicates comparing the planes. Even more complicating was the fact that all german planes used the metric system where some but not all allied types use this as well on their gauges. The only solution I could come up with was to recalculate the readings for the allied types to make the data the same as the german types and those allied planes using the metric system (the war was fought in Europe after all :P). In all following tables the planes that were Ďrecalculatedí can be recognized by the triple * behind them, like Snipe ***.

Most planes were tested several times to double-check the results. Keep in mind though that everything is handclocked so some minor differences will always be there when you start comparing.

Important to know as well is the fact that a plane flown by a good pilot maneuvres better than one flown by a pilot who doesnít know his stuff. This is especially noticable in making fast turns. The bank-angle and the amount of rudder-input really make the difference here and are not the same for every plane.
Should you find you're able to make turns much faster then me or just completely disagree with my findings please mail me at:
 [email protected]
Tell me how you do it and I'll try to reproduce it. If I succeed in doing so the result will be twofold:
- Your name will be mentioned as the pilot who reported the best way to accomplish this;
- Another proof is given that Okkie sux at times and is definitely not the best pilot in this game.

If I don't succeed you'll have just proven my mouth is bigger then my brain (actually I already know that : ) )

Iíll start by giving the table I made and on which most conclusions and graphs are based.

Table 1: Test results (climb and speed given in kilometres and metres for easy comparison)
Plane Rightturn Leftturn  Climb in metres per second Level speed in kilometres
Albatross DII 125  125  50 at 100 167
Albatross DIII  84  84  50 at 120  165
Albatross DV 84  84  50 at 120 172
Bullet *** 160 175 15 at 115 137
Camel *** 90 95 43 at 129 184
DH 2 *** 114 121 20 at 108 137
Fokker DR1 90 105 30 at 150 160
Fokker DVII 92  92 35 at 140 184
Fokker EIII 150 150 15 at 115 142
Halberstadt DII 137 123 20 at 120 145
Nieuport 11 123 123 30 at 114 140
Nieuport 17 120 123 30 at 120 155
Nieuport 24 109 114 25 at 120 165
Nieuport 28 93 92 55 at 150 216
Pfalz DIII 109 112 35 at 120 164
Pfalz DXII 133 133 30 at 156 178
Pup *** 104  117 27 at 129 169
SE. 5 *** 120 120 46 at 148 206
Snipe *** 84 84 60 at 121 190
Spad VII *** 173 173 34 at 154 198
Spad XIII 166 154 40 at 154  208
Triplane *** 101 101 40 at 132 169


Iíll give the reading of those allied planes that donít use the metric system here as they show up in the cockpit. Recalculating these figures should give the results as shown in table 1.

Table 2:
Plane Level climb Level speed
Snipe *** 20 at 75 118
Camel *** 14 at 80 114
Triplane *** 13 at 82  105
Pup *** 9 at 80 105
DH 2 *** 5 at 72  85
SE. 5 *** 15 at 92 128
Spad VII *** 11 at 96 123
Bullet *** 5 at 70 85

Hereís a screenshot of a Morane bullet speed dial at 85 kilometres per hour, which translates into 137 kilometres per hour:


And another screenshot of the Morane Bullet VSI-indicator, climbing at itís optimum 5 feet per second which is about 1.5 metres per second:
(note that every mark on the dial stands for 1 foot)


Hereís a screenshot of an Alba V speed dial at 172 kilometres per hour:


And a screenshot of an Alba V VSI-indicator, climbing at itís optimum of 5 metres per second:
(note that very mark on the dial stands for 0.5 metres)


Well that sure was a lot of data, but as youíll probably say by now: I still see only trees and no forest.
Let's continue then with some graphics thatíll show you much clearer whatís really the case here.

First a graph of turnrate to the right. All turns were made in level flight.

Graph 1:


Now weíre getting somewhere, notice the big advantage the Alba III, Alba V and the snipe have over all other planes, at least a 10% faster turning rate. Meaning youíll be on the tail of everybody flying any other plane in 10 turns max if they continue turning. The last 3 planes can be Ďcaughtí like this in 2 turns.
Just remember what plane youíre flying and if itís a better turner then your opponent just outturn him.

As mentioned earlier turnrate is highly affected by bankangle and rudderinput, Iíll give you what worked for me best and would be happy to hear from you if you get better results using other input. I inserted some general remarks about some planes which could be usefull. Most planes turn better with the stick all the way back. Not all planes though. Mostly 1/3 rudder seems best, experiment though as not all planes seem to benefit from the usage of rudder in turns.

Albatross DIII:
Bank angle about 80 degrees
Snaps wings relatively fast, so watch the speed when maneuvering
Loops indefinitely

Albatross DV
Bank angle about 80 degrees
Snaps wings relatively fast, so watch the speed when maneuvering
Loops indefinitely

Snipe ***
Bank angle about 60 degrees
Very fast roll when rudder is used to assist

Fokker DVII
Bank angle about 70 degrees
Wingsnaps donít occur when not damaged

Nieuport 28
Bank angle about 70 degrees. Will snap wings if you pull up to sharp after a dive. So watch it when you're bouncing someone, you might bounce right into mother earth yourself.

Fokker DR1
Bank angle about 45 degrees
Turning is not easy. It has to be nursed into the turn so changing direction takes time

Camel ***
Bank angle about 60 degrees
Extremely fast rollrate

Nieuport 24
Bank angle about 60 degrees

Pfalz DIII
Bank angle about 45 degrees
Kinda difficult to keep it from Ďsliding downí in the turns. Donít pull stick too hard in turns

Triplane ***
To the right don't use any rudders as this will worsen your turns and makes your ride much more difficult. Turning to the left use full rudder and compensate with the stick to keep up your nose. Bank angle of about 70 degrees for best turn-performance.

Nieuport 11
Bank angle about 50 degrees

Nieuport 17
Bank angle about 50 degrees

Pup ***
Bank of about 50 degrees. Use rudder, even opposite, to keep the nose up. If you have some speed you can turn in about 9 seconds, a flat turn won't be as fast though as soon as the speed gets around 60 your turnrate goes way up.

Albatross DII
The best bankangle for this plane seems to be about 60 degrees during turns, use of rudder doesn't seem to help much in this
plane. Watch the wingsnaps.

DH 2 ***
Advice for turning in the DH 2:
Bank angle of about 50 degrees for best turn-performance. Don't bank to hard or the plane will start "sliding"down.
Experiment with a little rudder, but only a bit. On my system 1/3 seems to be optimal.

Halberstadt DII
Bank angle about 45 degrees

SE. 5 ***
Bank angle about 50 degrees

Pfalz DXII
Bank angle about 45 degrees

Fokker EIII
Bank angle about 50 degrees

Bank angle about 50 degrees

Spad VII ***
Bank angle about 50 degrees

Bullet ***
Bank angle of about 40 degrees for best turn-performance. Don't bank to hard or the plane will start "sliding"down.
Experiment with a little rudder, but only a bit. Stick all the way back and keep the ship banked by pulling the stick slightly right (really just slightly). Wiggle the stick to keep vertical speed where you want it.

Keep in mind that all planes turn faster when going faster. So spiralling down on a normally faster turning plane can be rewarding sometimes.

On we go with left turns as there is a difference in some planes compared to the right turns:


As you can see the snipe is a match for the albaís in turns to the left. Against pilots who canít turn to well you have an advantage if you turn properly

Having said this letís continue with the top speeds the planes attain when flying level. Above every bar is the speed in kilometres per hour. And for your convenience above that the speed in miles for those planes that have dials that show miles.


Best climbspeed in level flight is a trait that can be used to stay above the bogey. Climbspeed is defined as a climb that can continue for a long time, so no zooming up but just a steady climb that gets you there. This climb can continue for minutes without you losing any speed.
The lowest figures show the climbspeed in metres (actually 1/10 th of a metre) per second. Above each bar is the speed that's best for an optimal climb in kilometres per hour. Above this there's sometimes a reading for some allied planes, that's the same optimum climb but now with the climbspeed in feet per second and the speed in miles per hour.


On to some 1 vs 1 comparisons now. All data I gave can be kinda boring indeed and as not all traits of the planes were mentioned or calculated some important stuff will be missing. That's the point were we carry on then :  ).
The optimum way to fly a certain plane is described here in detail but opinions may vary and I look forward to any input.
Preparing for the war some stuff came to the surface that might be quite interesting and I'll replicate it here. Thanks for the input Seawulfe, Cleankill, Cobra, Foker Foder, MadMass and Okkie and lots of others<VBG>. Remember though that opinions may vary (for example 1 pilot claims one plane to turn better then another where another pilot claims the reverse to be true) and what works for one pilot might not work for the other. Try to find your own truth here and use all data as a start.

1) Fokker EIII vs Morane Bullet

Let's start with the same basic facts that were mentioned above (and assume both pilots know their stuff and are able to get the maximum out of their planes:

Speeds:     Fokker EIII
                  142 kilometres per hour
                  137 kilometres per hour (85 miles on the dial for miles)
Meaning the EIII will outrun the Bullet by a small margin: 4%, which is not really significant. A EIII trying to shake a Morane on it's six will not get much separation in a short time. In short: he'll catch lots of lead before he's clear.

Turnspeed: Fokker EIII
                   15 seconds to the left and right

                   Morane Bullet
                   16 seconds to the right and 17.5 seconds to the left.

Meaning the EIII outturns the Bullet both left and right. To the left that's 7% faster, to the right 17%.
This would mean a turn to the right is worse in a bullet then a turn to the left. The EIII will catch up sooner in a turn to the right then in a turn to the left. So what you wanna do in a EIII is just turn and eventually catch the bullet's tail. In a Bullet you're better of turning to the left then to the right but you'll be in the EIII's sight eventually anytime.

Advice for turning in the bullet:
Bank angle of about 40 degrees for best turn-performance. Don't bank to hard or the plane will start "sliding"down.
Experiment with a little rudder, but only a bit. Stick all the way back and keep the ship banked by pulling the stick slightly right (really just slightly). Wiggle the stick to keep vertical speed where you want it.

Fokker EIII:
"Flies like a brick. Two things to remember with it. Absolutely NEVER EVER try to go vertical and NEVER EVER try to roll it.. results in a fatal stall everytime. Rudder is very effective and helps with the turns. Jink is the key and good guns is the only way to win consistantly."-- RD-Rocket

Level climb: Fokker EIII and Bullet
                     1.5 metres per second both at about the same speed
                     (115). Which means 5 at 70 miles for the bullet.
Hmm, nothing to say here.

To sum it all up:
The Fokker EIII will outrun and outturn the Morane Bullet anytime and the straight-forward climbs don't matter at all except for the fact that a bogey below you won't be able to catch up with you or vice versa. How's that for self-confidence when flying the Morane Bullet against an Fokker EIII :  )

These data don't say it all though and actually the Bullet seems to have some edges over the EIII that can be exploited:

- Speed improves your turnrate. So if you fall down on a turning EIII from behind with some speed you should be able to track him for about 1 circle. Try doing this and at the moment you lose track start climbing up while keeping in a circle which won't slow your speed so much. This way you can climb above them before they catch your tail. When flying the EIII this effect will be magnified of course.

- The fokker EIII is much more unforgiving to "hamfisted" pilots. If you climb in a turn and the EIII tries to match your climb while giving too much input he'll stall for sure. A fokker in a stall is hard to recover. A fokker in a spin will lose lots of alt, given the height of most fights he won't have the alt he needs to recover most of the time.

- Most important: A Fokker will stall much faster during a turn to the left. As Cleankill so nicely put it: "The stats for the Bullet don't seem to compare with the Eindecker.. HOWEVER, there is one thing in the allieds favor. The EIII stalls more than a kid that's been sent to bed. We will do fine." (looks like we flew the Bullet in that fight, hehe)

So: turn to the left with a fokker on your tail and try climbing some in the process. The Fokker will try to get some shots in and will stall out most of the time.

Always practice which bankangle and pull on the stick gives you the best turnspeed, beware the stalls (both planes will stall faster then you think especially when turning and using rudder).
Practice offline, that will improve your understanding of what I'm saying here. Practice both planes and note the differences, especially during climbturns.

- Watch the steep dives in both planes: your wings WILL pull off in both planes.

When flying the EIII just remember not to follow the Bullet up when flying the EIII. Extend and climb at maximum climbrate and use it's superior turnspeed. Should you see any EIII using this tactic you'll know it's a good pilot who knows his stuff. Time to separate him from the pack first .

To finish it all it's time for Seawulfe to give some expert advice:
"the Bullet has a phenonemal(sp?) climb rate over the EIII. Last night whenever a bogey got on my tail, all I did was nose down a little bit, then yank my stick back and go into a steep climb, then nose back down before I totally stalled. When I looked back, the EIIIs were falling out of the sky backwards <G>. Also, the Bullet can turn faster than the EIII to the left (unless the EIII pilot uses rudder, which he won't). All you have to do is get your plane into a nice bank(somewhere between 70 and 50degrees), pull back as hard as you can on your stick and use a little bit of left rudder to keep your nose down and you'll eventually come around on him. Here's the most important thing: Keep turning to the left if you get into trouble. He will do one of two things, break left not using any rudder and spin his EIII, or he will just be stupid and manage to turn with you. Eventually the sides will be turned, and all you have to do is shoot him up. Another thing to remember: With all the torque that EIII puts out and it's lack of horizontal stability- Just shoot up his right wing and he'll be forced to leave the fighting or risk dying. I was shooting off their entire wings last night and lemme tell you, it was fun as hell! <G> Remember, You can OUTCLIMB, and OUTTURN(to the left) a Fokker EIII. So if you get into deepshit, that's all you gotta do. Even if you have the entire RD armada on your 6, all you have to do is pull back on the stick for a few seconds(really hard) then nose back down. When you look back, you've got half a dozen EIIIs spinning to their deaths. -SW "

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